There are the vestiges of an outdoor maple syrup evaporator in our yard and every time I look at it, I think about a bunch of people hanging out outside in the winter in the cold boiling sap over an outdoor fire and how much fun that must've been. This evaporator was made out of a custom made metal tray that was welded together, and pieces of old wood stoves.
One of my neighbors has a very DIY maple syrup evaporator that is basically a large steel tray that a divided into two parts. He sets this over a fire and boil sap outside on the weekends. Most trays are divided into at least two sections so you can manage the boil. The larger sections are for the initial boil, the smaller sections for when the sap is close to becoming syrup. Most DIY evaporators have a pipe and a valve drilled into one end of the tray to pour off the syrup.
He lives on the main road so when I drive by and I see the steam coming off the saturate I stop by and we'll just hang out we talk about the same things every time how much sap we collected what the ratio is this year how much sap to how much syrup sometimes it's high sometimes it slow it's usually around 35 to 1 or 40 to 1
This year I plan on building a new DIY maple syrup evaporator out of a metal filing cabinet so stay tuned for that in the meantime you can check out sober maple syrup videos here
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